Yesterday, I mentioned cleaning my "Happy Room" and Sparkfriend WhitneyTeacher asked what my happy room was so I thought I would blog today about happiness.
People often confuse "joyfulness" with "happiness". The word "happy" comes from the word happenstance. Clearly defined, happiness is influenced/caused by your happenstance, or external cues. Your surroundings circumscribe how "happy" you are.
Joyfulness, on the other hand, is internal. Though we can be extremely sad, we can have joy in our hearts. This word is most often joined with Christianity because as Christians, our joy comes from knowing that in spite of all the trouble and hurts in this world we have the HOPE and assurance that God is in control and that Jesus died for us so that in the end, it is all worthwhile.
Definitions aside, I can now explain my "happy room". As most of my regular readers know, I believe we choose how to respond to any external stimuli. Many (most?) people consider laundry to be drudgery. Shortly after Rich and I married and I moved into the house, I was in the laundry room which is small and, well, BORING! C'mon, it's a LAUNDRY ROOM, for crying out loud! But this room has a large window which overlooked the mountains in the back which are foothills to the Cascades. I could see the cattle in the field between the house and the mountains. It was pleasant.
I decided to straighten the room up and move some shelves in for my laundry supplies. Then I moved in a rocking chair to get it out of the living room. One day I was sitting in the rocking chair folding laundry and realized how peaceful it was with the hum of the dryer and the sunny view from my window. I moved in a book shelf to put all of my herbal medicine reference books in there, added a couple of devotionals and some 'memory books' such as an old reading book, childhood journals, etc.
I started hanging pictures on the walls. First it was just my kids, then my parents, then my grandparents and grandkids. The walls are now lined (well, plastered might be a better word!) with pictures that make me happy! My rocking chair has a coat of fuchsia paint to add color to my room. I have a TV/DVD player in there and a radio. I also added my medical/herbal cupboard where I keep all of my medical supplies. I have some puzzle magazines and ink pens. I keep special sentimental gifts from my kids in there and my piggy bank collection.
My laundry room is no longer a room of drudgery, but a place of peace and quiet reflection. Looking at the pictures, I reflect on happy times and is comforting especially when I might be feeling down.
Unlike most people, my laundry room is my Happy Room. Tell me about your "Happy Place". If you don't have one yet, what would make a happy place for you?